Opening November 9th, 2023
PROXYCO Gallery, 121 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
PROXYCO Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Ana Elena Garuz: Fragments of Belief and Disbelief
Magazine cut-outs accumulate in the artist’s studio: a precarious, gleaming archive. The domestic ritual of reading magazines has long shattered into a shamanic, impractical science, and what was once a playful, childlike labor—cold glamour curling under clammy hands—has become the virtuoso slicing and guiding of a new map into compact, floating fruition. We walk the threshold between trompe l’oeil and abstraction, teetering at the colorful, irregular edge of emptiness. The characteristically jagged scissor cuts and disjointed layering of analog collage charm us into a simultaneous belief and disbelief in its materiality. Busy, silent borders have snapped further away from referenced land as if enacting the progressive denaturing of our collective desire.
Dimensionless debris, as elegant as the absence of a deity. The absolute opacity of a fold, a claustrophobic glow, elegantly cloaks the sublime; dense mirages between us and the unseen. Talismanic band-aids—veils against the void—claim nothing but surface. Depth is a distant landscape from a false memory: a vision of all the time and space between a color and its origin, between the urge of one and that of all. Metallic ballet; sumptuous effacement; the urgent, unending quest for an intimate stance. Flatness is squeezed until meaning drips along its inseam.
The acutely arbitrary becomes divination, and the shape of emptiness a symbol. These works depict folds, curves and shadows, and imply spontaneous expression, yet the subject doesn’t flex its dimensionality towards the viewer. Propriety verges on the monstruous while remaining intact, sleek, flat. These are semi-gutted scraps of dense luxury, gently contorted, poised in precarious formation. Today’s constant flash of fleeting images contrasts with the slowness of the craft.
Sky View, Wave, White Shirt, Belly, the titles of four of the large paintings, conjure varying perspectives of what could be the same scene: vast, sublime, up close, and personal. Someone drowning in a dress shirt? These paintings are strictly figurative, yet utterly abstract. In Garuz’s paintings, each fragment is a blank stare, a censorship and at the same time an unplanned message.
Meanwhile, the drawings plunge into the cut-outs, at moments even intimating the abject and bodily through hyperrealism, meticulously close to the matter of it all and beyond. A multidimensional journey through the superficial and vice versa.
Here we bask in the possibility of being light, ethereal, desirable, acceptable, yet containing densities, histories, precarities. The trail, the residue, the shape of emotion and trembling, and thus the flesh, will be there, easy to miss until it isn’t. Meaning is constantly sparked through stiff, spontaneous acrobatics. Beauty flickers in constant movement towards everything else. The sensuous nothingness of an old dream—you know which—lies behind, invisible, winking, eternal, found, unsought.
— Maia Alfaro